110th Grey Cup generated $73.5 million in total economic impact: report

Photo courtesy: CFL

The 110th Grey Cup had a total economic impact of $73.5 million, according to a new study by Sport Tourism Canada.

The report, which was commissioned by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the CFL, found that the event contributed $41.9 million to the Canadian GDP, including $35.4 million for the province of Ontario and $29.2 million for the City of Hamilton. It also generated $25.4 million in wages and salaries, while resulting in $12 million in tax revenue across all levels of government.

“The 110th Grey Cup in Hamilton and the 2023 Grey Cup Festival set a new standard of excellence for how Canada’s biggest football game should be delivered,” Ontario minister of tourism, culture and sport Neil Lumsden said in a statement. “These numbers show that regionalizing the festivities not only supported local economies in both Hamilton and the Niagara region, but they also offered a better experience for fans who travelled from all across Canada.”

A reported total of 223,216 took in some part of the Grey Cup game or surrounding festival, which included 42 different events and concerts from stars like Carrie Underwood and Shaggy. 33,835 of those in attendance were out-of-town visitors, with 64 percent saying the Grey Cup was their sole reason for travel and 42 percent coming from outside Ontario. They spent an average of 3.4 days in the city and shelled out approximately $20.8 million in local expenditures

“Throughout Grey Cup Week and, of course, our championship game, I had the privilege of speaking with fans, families, alumni, players, out-of-town visitors, Hamiltonians and community leaders from across the region,” said CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie.

“The results of this study echo everything I heard during that remarkable week in November – that this was a truly special and unforgettable celebration of our great game. I applaud our tremendous event organizers and staff, and especially the many volunteers, for all their incredible work in creating an event that mirrored the unbelievable passion and pride that our country has for Canadian football.”

The Montreal Alouettes defeated the heavily favoured Winnipeg Blue Bombers by a score of 28-24 in the Grey Cup game, capturing their first championship since 2010. Montreal overcame a ten-point halftime deficit to secure the win, which came on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Cody Fajardo to Tyson Philpot with 13 seconds remaining in the game. Fajardo was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, while Philpot was awarded Most Valuable Canadian.

8.9 million Canadians watched at least some part of the 110th Grey Cup, according to TSN, with the audience peaking at 5.2 million during the final minute. An audience of 752,600 watched on RDS, TSN’s French-language affiliate, giving the Grey Cup a 14.5 percent increase in viewership compared to the English-language rating from last year’s game.

In addition to the television numbers, the game garnered approximately 11,400 editorial mentions during Grey Cup Week, reaching a total of 6.5 billion people and resulting in the equivalent of $60.1 million in advertising value. The league experienced a 35 percent year-over-year growth in social media interactions as well, with higher digital consumption across all platforms.

The event has been nominated for the Sport Tourism Canada PRESTIGE Awards for the second year in a row. It will compete for the title of Canadian Sport Event of the Year with a budget greater than $1 million, facing off with the RBC Canadian Open and Tremblant World Cup.

The 111th Grey Cup is scheduled for Sunday, November 17 at BC Place in Vancouver. Plans are already in place to make it the most ambitious festival yet.